The official 2022-23 NBA schedule release on Wednesday taught us a lot about the future of the Los Angeles Lakers.
For example, we learned that the team will definitely play on Christmas Day (against the Dallas Mavericks) and will partake in one of the season’s first games on opening night (against the Golden State Warriors).
There weren’t many surprises in LA’s schedule but we did see a fascinating stretch of games that could cause severe headaches for fans of the team.
From just before Thanksgiving to just after New Year’s Day, the Lakers have a stretch where they play 16 out of 22 games on the road. The league’s schedule makers packaged a major test for first year head coach Darvin Ham’s team as a holiday gift.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) August 17, 2022
As Dave McMenamin noted, the Lakers will play 16 out of 22 games on the road during a stretch of time from just before Thanksgiving until after New Year’s Day.
That is a lot of time away from home – and creates an awful lot of challenges for the Lakers.
This comes at a time when the team is desperate to right the wrongs from last season, change the narrative, and get back on the right path.
Will so many away games only hurt their chances of doing that?
Winning games on the road in the NBA is very difficult.
Traveling is hard on the body and home-court advantage is real, all of which adds up to a disadvantage for the team who isn’t at home.
In the 2021-22 season, the Lakers had a 12-29 record on the road.
Those aren’t great numbers and they suggest that this particular run of games in the new season could prove to be really stressful for LA.
Now, some things have changed since last season.
For example, new head coach Darvin Ham has sworn he has some smart ideas to get the Lakers in shape.
His plans will be put to the test from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.